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Full text of "The Gay Genius"

m                          THE GAY GENIUS

Dunquan, who now suddenly sprang into great activity, to serve his
master.  Dunquan proposed prosecuting Fu Pi for blocking reforms,
and the old minister was deprived of his high ranks and transferred to
another district as magistrate. But Wang was dissatisfied and said ta<-
the Emperor that Fu Pi had committed crimes similar to those com-j
mitted by the Four Evil Monsters, and if he were merely deprived of
his ministerial honours, how could other traitors be warned and stopped
from following in his footsteps?   The Emperor refused to listen to
Wang's advice, and permitted Fu Pi to keep his small job. On the way
to his new appointment Fu Pi passed the Southern Capital and called
on Chang Fangping.

Regretfully the old premier said to Chang: "It is so difficult to kriow
a man's character/'

"You mean Wang Anshih?" replied his friend.  "I did not think iL.
was so difficult to know him. I once served with him on the board oi|
a local examination and he started to upset everything. I dismissed him 
from my staff and never talked with him again." The old premier felt
ashamed of himself. He went on his way, and in his old age he used
to gaze at the roof and sigh in silence.

Just before Su Tungpo left, there was a riot at the capital. The paochta
system had been enforced during the previous winter. Military training
of the conscripted men was going on in the villages. Suspicious of this
training, and thinking that the conscripts would soon be taken from
their homes to fight wars with the northern tribes, the villagers near
the capital staged a demonstration. The trouble also arose from the
fact that the farmers were asked to provide their own military equips
ment, which really consisted only of bows and arrows. Fathers and
sons wept together, and there were villagers who chopped off their
fingers or their wrists in order to evade the draft. Through this riot
Wang Anshih was to lose his last remaining friend, Han Wei, for as
magistrate of the district he reported the riot and asked that the military
training be delayed till late winter when the farmers would no longer
be busy with their crops. For this even Han Wei was dismissed.

It took a visible demonstration of God's anger and the curious gate-
keeper of the palace to put Wang Anshih out of power. In 1073 there
was a landslide on the sacred mountain Huashan. Thrown into con-
sternation, the Emperor, according to custom, moved to" another palace
as a sign of respect for God, and ordered poorer food to be served for
his dmaer. Besides, from the summer of 1073 to the spring of 1074
there had been no rain; the Emperor was deeply worried and did not
blow what to do. He questioned Wang Anshih about it, and the latter

**Flooels and droughts are natural calamities; they occurred even in